Holden Make Overview
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|Holden Apollo||Holden Premier|
Holden has been a mainstay in Australian automobile manufacturing for nearly a century and can trace its origins back to the year 1856, when James A. Holden, an immigrant from England, established a saddlery business in the South Australia town of Adelaide. In 1914 Holden manufactured its first all-Australian car, and the company has been producing innovative cars ever since.
By 1924, Holden was the exclusive producer of car bodies for the chassis of General Motors vehicles imported into Australia. That cooperation eventually led to a merger of Holden and GM in 1931. Operating under the name GM Holden Ltd., the two automakers remain linked to this day, as evidenced by the 2008 Pontiac G8, which is actually a rebadged Holden Commodore SS. Holden not only designed the rear-wheel-drive Pontiac G8/Commodore, but also builds the cars at its plant in Australia. It's a good indication of the muscular, hard-driving cars that have been popularized by Holden over the past few decades.
In 1934, Holden produced its first coupe-utility, a truck-like vehicle, and it opened a new factory and headquarters at Fishermens Bend in Melbourne in 1936. As with most automakers of the era, Holden's production of cars stalled during World War II, but began in earnest again after the war, as Holden was tapped to produce an Australian car. The result was the 48-215, also known as the FX. Holden would continue to produce the car into the 1950s.
Like Australia's landscape, Holdens have tended to be rugged vehicles, like the FJ Holden Ute, produced from 1953 to 1956, the FC Holden station wagon (1958-'60), and the EH Holden wagon (1963-'65). Holden also produced a number of stylish sedans, which during the 1960s took on sporty appearances. Cars like the HK Monaro (1968-'69), a two-door coupe with a V8 engine, rivaled the best muscle cars made in America, while the HQ Holden (1971-'74) set new standards for Holden in terms of design and construction, with its wide stance, back-slanted front grille, and unibody construction.
In 1978, Holden introduced its first Commodore, the VB. It was followed in 1988 by the VN Commodore, which would become Australia's most popular car by the early 1990s. The next-generation VT Commodore debuted in 1997. Today, the Commodore comes in a number of trims, including the Commodore Omega, the Lumina, the SV6, the Sportwagon, and the sport-oriented Commodore SS. In addition, Holden unveiled the ECOmmodore hybrid-electric concept car in 2000.
Holden still produces a Ute as well. Like the Commodore, the truck/SUV-like Ute comes in Omega, SV6, SS, and SS V-Series trims. Beyond that, Holden today offers a wide range of vehicles, from the small, zippy Barina, available in three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback, and sedan trims, to the Viva compact, the Captiva SUV, the Rodeo pickup truck, and upscale sedans like the Berlina, the Calais, the Statesman, and the Caprice.